n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Power : towards a third generation definition

Volume 72, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0023-270X
  • E-ISSN: 2304-8557



Power is a well-established concept in the social sciences especially in the political sciences. Although it is widely used in scientific discourse, different definitions and perspectives prevail with regard to it. This article aims to explore the possibilities of taking the debate further towards a third generation definition of social power. Although first generation definitions (associated with Weber and Dahl) and second generation definitions (associated with inter alia Giddens and Morriss) are still widely used in the academic field, they do not reflect the depth of the continuous debate on the concept of power. Viewpoints, especially with regard to agency and freedom, are not reflected in current definitions. To this can also be added the important dynamic relationship between power and change. This article summarises the important aspects of power debates relevant for defining power and discusses possible ways in which this can be accommodated in a definition of power. The current debate on the relationship between power and change is also reinterpreted with regard to defining social power. The article concludes by proposing necessary aspects of a third generation definition of power and suggests such a definition.

Mag is 'n goed gevestigde konsep in die sosiale wetenskappe veral in die politieke wetenskappe. Hoewel dit algemeen in wetenskaplike redevoering gebruik word, bly verskillende definisies en perspektiewe daaroor bestaan. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die moontlikhede om die debat verder te neem op weg na 'n derdegenerasiedefinisie. Hoewel eerstegenerasiedefinisies (geassosieer met Weber en Dahl) en tweedegenerasiesdefinisies (geassosieer met onder andere Giddens en Morriss) steeds algemeen in die akademiese veld gebruik word, reflekteer hulle nie die diepte van die volgehoue debat oor die konsep ''mag'' nie. Gesigspunte, veral ten opsigte van agentskap en vryheid, word nie gereflekteer in huidige definisies nie. Hier-by kan die belangrike dinamiese verhouding tussen mag en verandering gevoeg word. Hierdie artikel som die belangrikste aspekte van die debatte, wat verband hou met die definiëring van ''mag'', op en bespreek die verskillende wyses hoe dit in die definisie van mag geakkommodeer kan word. Die huidige debat oor die verhouding tussen mag en verandering word ook herinterpreteer met betrekking tot die definiëring van sosiale mag. Die artikel sluit af deur die nodige aspekte vir 'n derdegene-rasiedefinisie van mag voor te stel en dus 'n definisie te suggereer.

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